Pedraza-Peñalosa, Paola , Betancur, Julio , Gonzalez , Maria Fernanda .
Inventorying diversity hotspots: vascular flora of Las Orquideas National Park (Colombia).
The Colombian Western Cordillera and adjacent Choco have the highest Angiosperm diversity in northern South America. Unfortunately, about 80% of their primary vegetation has been lost and both regions are among the world's top priorities for conservation. The impact of the rapid loss of diversity is exacerbated by the sharp decline in the number of Colombian specimens that have been available to researchers over the past 40 years. Entire lineages exclusive to or particularly rich in NW Colombia are therefore missing in modern monographic and systematic research. Moreover, the lack of floristic inventories is a serious obstacle for effective conservation. Thus, the vascular plants of Las OrquiÂdeas National Park, strategically located in the confluence of the Tropical Andes and Choco Biogeographic regions in NW Colombia, are being inventoried. Exuberant pluvial forests, distributed along a wide altitudinal range (1,000-3,450 m), are being targeted and all tree and non-tree vascular plants are being collected. The park could have as much as 2,000 species of vascular plants and so far 1,518 species, 632 genera and 159 families have been documented. Plant diversity in the park is outstanding, especially considering its modest size; its diversity corresponds to 18.3% of the vascular plants recorded for the entire state (Antioquia). To date, 18 families, 141 genera and 296 species have been recorded in the park for the first time; of them, 56 species are new records for the state and about 15 species are new to science. Notable among the families with the most novelties are Orchidaceae, Ericaceae, and Bromeliaceae, all of them non-tree groups. Discoveries are not only confined to the taxonomic level, a new habitat type was recorded for the first time within the park during the last expedition; a complex of small Paramos (Neotropicalalpine-like vegetation) was located and this discovery also represent new paramo localities for Colombia. Paramos guarantee water supply for millions of people in the Andes and Colombian law specially protects them because of their biological uniqueness and susceptibility to global warming.
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1 - New York Botanical Garden, Institute Of Systematic Botany, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458, USA
2 - Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Apartado 7495, Bogotá, Colombia
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM